Shrewsbury School

English Literature in the Sixth Form

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.


Head of Faculty: Mrs. K. Leslie

English Literature is an enjoyable and challenging discipline which will attract those who enjoy reading, talking and writing about a variety of texts, ranging from the earliest writers in the English canon, such as Chaucer and Shakespeare, to contemporary texts such as Alan Bennett's The History Boys and John Green's The Fault in our Stars

Pupils will be required to evaluate reflections on the human experience, as well as to develop precise critical and analytical skills.  They will consider aspects of language such as style, tone and intention, as well as the social, political and cultural contexts in which the works were produced.  Thus, the course combines successfully with a wide range of disciplines, and helps to promote the ability to present ideas precisely, both orally and on paper.

The course will appeal to those who enjoy expressing their own opinions and developing independent ideas, and who would be stimulated by a subject that draws upon their own experiences. 

English Literature is an ideal choice for pupils who want to keep their options for further study open, as well as those who are already committed to the study of English at University.  English Literature is a popular qualification for a wide range of courses in higher education and is useful in all careers.  The ability to read critically and discerningly, to produce accurate and persuasive writing and speaking and to have confidence in one’s own judgements are clearly invaluable skills.

Lessons tend to be largely discussion based, as this is a subject which thrives on lively debate and a willingness to challenge and interrogate ideas.  Work outside lessons takes the form of the written essay, though pupils should also be prepared to read widely.

We follow the OCR specification (H472).  The course is linear, culminating in assessment via two examinations at the end of the Upper Sixth, as well as a small coursework module (worth 20% of the overall qualification) that will be undertaken during the two-year course.

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